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Panographs: a 31-year-old’s puzzles

Here’s what you need
1) A camera which can be set to manual mode
2) More or less 10 hours to waste
3) A place you’d like to take a picture of (in hindsight, I’d advise you to look for something with well defined contours and colours and not subject to wind movement)
4) A photo editing software (I used Photoshop CS5)


Here’s how it works
1) Stand in front of the thing you’ve picked and make sure you select a point of view which allows you to see everything.
2) Lower the quality on your camera – you don’t need a very high resolution and besides your RAM will be thankful.
3) Manually set ISO, white balance, shutter speed and aperture.
4) Take a single reference shot which you’ll use as help when composing all other shots.
5) Take a lot of pictures without moving from your position, but changing direction of your lens. Tilt your camera to different angles. Try to make overlapping shots, and don’t leave empty areas.
6) Don’t zoom in or out (I used my prime lens so didn’t have to bother about it).
7) Once home, create a very large canvas in Photoshop with white or black background and place all your pics into it.
8 ) Set all levels to 50% opacity.
9) One by one, start composing your image as you would with a puzzle: pick a single, significant portion and arrange all the other images just by moving and rotating them (press CTRL or Command + T and you’ll get the handles).
10) Post-process the image, if you wish, in Photoshop or Lightroom.

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